Sunday, December 1, 2013

hammer on a drum!

centering the cedar ring on the deerskin
A while back, i made a contribution to a fundraising drive for the film "Fractured Land" (which follows a fabulous UVic law student who is doing work on water and fraking in his territory).

Part of the fundraising package (done through crowd-funding) was a "Drum-making Workshop" in Squamish, with Tsawaysia (Alice Guss)  In due course, I got the notification re the workshop.  I also realized I could sign up the rest of my men (Steve and the boys) to come with me.  

Alex getting set up, Steve providing commentary
Steve's failed attempt to help Alex tighten the drum
Unfortunately, I then realized it was being held the same weekend as the Junior Varsity Football championships.  That is, I suppose, a 'win-win' (or 'lose-lose', if you prefer).  It was clear that we would be heading over to the mainland, but I didn't know til the last minute whether the weekend would involve a family trip to Squamish to make drums, or a family trip to Vancouver to watch Alex in the Provincial football finals.  Well... last week, Alex's team lost in the semi-finals, so drum-making it was!

The whole group
There were some moments of high-drama, such as when steve tried to 'help out' with alex's drum, only to accidentally break the inner ring.  We decided that was typical project-management!  hahaha!  All was well, as Alice Guss (who ran the workshop) was fabulous, and showed/helped Alex how to restring the inside without having to restring the whole drum.  Success!  In the end, our drums are all drying nicely, and will be ready for the next protest march (or sing-a-long at the lake this summer!)

our family drums!


  1. That was a fun read. Loved the trailer for the film. Hard not to want to join in at the powwow and dance. Also looked at Alice Guss's website and read along. Of course, I studied the pictures in your own blog. Wondered who was taking some of the shots. Thanks. As usual, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Eight people in the work-shop. Quite an undertaking to keep everyone busy at the same time, since no two people are ever working at the same speed. If anyone wants to give up their drum, I am collecting musical instruments at the lake. Were you also given some drumming rhythms to practice?

    As for football, sucks to be beaten in the semi-finals. Wish that could have gone the other way -- but you can't have everything. Looks to me like families who live on the island still get more than their share of fun.

  2. So nice to hear that Alex and his team made it to the semi-finals. That must represent a lot of games and a lot of practice just to get that far. The drum making looks delightful! Arta, get busy and compose a drum piece for the drums. I can hardly wait to hear the performance.